New website calling all aboard

A new website is poised to help Taranaki businesses corner the lucrative cruise- ship market., the brainchild of Hawera woman Wendy London and Wellington-based Deborah DeNard, is New Zealand's first online guide specifically for visiting cruise passengers.

London said although the web portal would initially target key ports, the scope for Taranaki businesses was huge.

The imminent arrival of the five-star luxury ship Caledonian Sky was just the incentive for business owners to start thinking about how they could get on board the growing industry, she said.

"After we roll out the cruise tourism information sites for the 10 active port regions, we will start loading tourism content for the rest of New Zealand, including Taranaki," she said.

"But in the meantime, we are most happy for Taranaki businesses to register, especially where they have authentic and quintessential New Zealand stuff to sell online . . . Another good reason for Taranaki businesses to register is to put Taranaki into the consciousness of cruise visitors' minds for pre and post- cruise travel."

The Caledonian Sky will spend the day in Port Taranaki on Wednesday with a range of short half-day tours planned for its 94 passengers and 70 crew.

"As travellers, we all know that we like to plan what we want to see and do ahead of time, the best attractions, beautiful views or extreme adventures.

"Not only that but we want to know what services are available when we arrive in port," London said.

The website will officially launch in October but businesses are being encouraged to sign up now.

The site is currently dedicated to registration.

The website will also be translated into Mandarin, Japanese and Korean, and can be custom fit to other destinations around the world.

Taranaki Daily News